Parody accounts are a fixture on Twitter. Some are funny. Some are not. But they’re all a minor nuisance at best, inciting a misclick of some kind and an extra second of Twitter browsing. We can live with these, however, because they often declare their parody status: “Not [Insert Athlete],” “Fake [Insert Media Member],” something to clear up any possible confusion.
Then there are the fake-pretending-to-be-real accounts, and those are the killer ones. During any free agency period, fake reporters materialize and tweet out fake breaking news, which gets retweeted and passed around enough until someone with a keen eye alerts everyone to the fraud. Last summer, 5,847 fake Adrian Wojnarowski accounts popped up to deceive the masses, presumably to scoop up Twitter followers and steal bits of self worth. Because Twitter, or really follower count, is now some sort of pseudo-societal measuring stick for popularity and visibility and whatever else. It’s a ranking, and an annoying one, all on its own.
Anyway, to our purpose: NFL free agency starts today at 4:00 p.m., and we suspect some fake reporter Twitter accounts will restart their engines (some already have). When fake news “leaks” on Twitter and spreads like wildfire, it’s pretty much the worst. So, for your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of fake Twitter accounts making no effort to conceal their fake status, or even in some cases overtly aiming to prey on your trust and slip a scoop or three right into your pocket. Remember to be on the lookout for that blue checkmark, people.
By our count, Adam Schefter, Jay Glazer, Chris Mortensen, Jason La Canfora, Ian Rapoport, Peter King, Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk on the whole, really) and Albert Breer are all news-breaking types: they’ll have the real scoops, the real insight, the real information – or at least bits of truth and rumors to gobble up. Still, these are the guys you should follow in anticipation of NFL free agency. Here are their real Twitter accounts:
Adam Schefter: @AdamSchefter
Jay Glazer: @JayGlazer
Chris Mortensen: @mortreport
Jason La Canfora: @JasonLaCanfora
Ian Rapoport: @RapSheet
Mike Florio: @ProFootballTalk
Peter King: @SI_PeterKing
Albert Breer: @AlbertBreer
(Apologies if we’ve forgotten anyone. No hard feelings?)
And now, here are the fake Twitter accounts. Some of them haven’t tweeted in a while, and some are more obviously fake than others, but we don’t want you to be fooled and start retweeting the wrong guy in case they come out of the woodwork. And of course, be on the lookout for more popping up, as will invariably happen. But for now, make sure and block these guys before they can do any damage.
Fake Adam Schefters:
Fake Jay Glazer:
Fake Chris Mortensens:
Fake Jason La Canfora:
Fake Albert Breer:
Fake Mike Florios:
Fake Peter King:
Happy free agency news hunting!